Sporting Kansas City defender Erik Palmer-Brown made his competitive debut for the United States Under-20 Men's National Team on Sunday in a 3-2 victory over River Plate (ARG) and used the performance to earn his first start for head coach Tab Ramos in today's 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt (GER) at the 2014 Dallas Cup.
With the U.S. trailing 2-1 at halftime in Sunday's tournament opener, Palmer-Brown replaced Jesus Vazquez to start the second half as the United States rallied for the come-from-behind win in Bracket C of the Gordon Jago Super Group. Among those in attendance at the Cotton Bowl and showing their support for the homegrown centerback were the Sporting KC Academy U17's, who arrived in Dallas earlier in the day for this week's 2013-14 Generation adidas Cup.
Great 3-2 win over River Plate in the Cotton Bowl! pic.twitter.com/kFB0wfK7TM— Erik Palmer-Brown (@ErikBrown14) April 14, 2014
Palmer-Brown, a Lee's Summit, Mo. native, was then selected to the starting 11 today as the United States earned their second victory in as many days at the prestigious youth tournament. He once again held his international opposition scoreless in the match, held at Richland College, as he played the full 90 minutes in central defense.
The United States U20's will next face Tigres UANL from Mexico on Wednesday in the group stage finale. A draw or win will secure a first place finish in the four-team group and send the team through to the semifinals on Friday.
At age 16, Palmer-Brown is the youngest active player in Major League Soccer and the youngest player on the U.S. U-20 roster. He signed a professional contract with Sporting KC in August 2013 after attending the elite U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla.
Palmer-Brown has featured extensively in international competition for the United States Under-15, Under-17 and Under-18 youth national teams and was one of five finalists for U.S. Soccer's 2013 Young Male Athlete of the Year.